mosquito lagoon redfish fishing guide, captain tom van horn

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Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

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January 22, 2015

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL

View From My Office

View From My Office

Events and Seminar:

February 7, 2015 9 am - Free Hook Kids on Fishing Program at Birdaplooza. To preregister your kids for this event go to www.birdapalooza.com. Volunteers are still needed for the Apopka Wildlife festival's Hook Kids on Fishing program. Please contact me if you can help teach kids to fish.

This Week's Fishing Report

Matt and his fishing buddy Cole battling back to back black drum on fly.

Matt and his fishing buddy Cole battling back to back black drum on fly.

The weather and the fishing this past week were as pretty as it gets here on the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. Calm slick days, temperatures in the seventies, great clients and hungry fish. It doesn't get any better then that. This week the schools of black drum moved up on the skinny flats, and the slick conditions made them easy to find. The above photo is of two young anglers, Matt and Cole, who shared a school of black drum with us. In this photo, Matt and Cole battle a double hook up on fly. Sometimes, working schools of fish together improves the catching and the fun for all.

Today, cold air is blowing in from the frigid north, so it looks like I will have to break out my winter shorts and batten down the hatches for a few days.

Left to right, clients Ralph Matchok, Tom Simms and Neal Kirkpatrick enjoy a gorgeous day together on the Mosquito Lagoon.

Left to right, clients Ralph Matchok, Tom Simms and Neal Kirkpatrick enjoy a gorgeous day together on the Mosquito Lagoon.

This week I had the pleasure to fish the same clients for several days in a row. The charter was a mixed bag of good friends and family featuring Tom Simms from Elizabeth City North Carolina, Neil Kirkpatrick from Ormond Beach and Ralph Matchok from Murphreesboro Tennessee, and although a full boat is a handful at times, fishing with them was a hoot.

Neal takes top hook with his 40-pound flats donkey.

Neal takes top hook with his 40-pound flats donkey.

On day one it was a bit cloudy and calm, but day two was one of those Chamber of Commerce days we all move to Florida for. In the above photo Neil proudly displays his 40 plus pound black drum.

As for American shad, the number reported are starting to pick up, but the run is still very slow. The best report I herd last week was 7 shad and 1 sunshine bass caught in the old Marina Isle area. Although receding, the water levels on the St Johns River remain high, and the shad have not showed up in and concentrations yet. We are typically catching good numbers of shad by now, so I must say the shad run is very discouraging so far. Hopefully the shad run will improve soon.

Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Fishing Forecast

No-Motor Zone Redfish caught by Chris Myers on Fly

No-Motor Zone Redfish caught by Chris Myers on Fly

February, 2015

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL

Events and Seminar:

February 7, 2015 9 am - Free Hook Kids on Fishing Program at Birdaplooza. To preregister your kids for this event go to www.birdapalooza.com. Volunteers are still needed for the Apopka Wildlife festival's Hook Kids on Fishing program. Please contact me if you can help teach kids to fish.

February 14 & 15th - Old Florida Outdoor Festival, 3710 Jason Dwelley Parkway, Apopka, Florida 32712. Come by and visit me at the Anglers For Conservation Booth. and purchase a raffle ticket for a new Engel Cooler donated by Mosquito Creek Outdoors to benefit Hook kids on Fishing Programs.


February's Fishing Forecast

As winters go here in Central Florida, we certainly can't complain about the weather we've experienced thus far. Other than the some rain and the extreme wind we experienced last week, gorgeous fishing conditions have prevailed and we've had so first-rate fishing as well.

Inshore on the flats, water levels are starting to drop and the water clarity is crystal clear in most areas. These concentrations make for some tight schools, but shallow conditions also make access both difficult and dangerous for those who do not know the area. On colder days, falling water temperatures force fish to seek deeper locations in search the warmest water they can find and they become very sluggish. As the sun warms the water, all it takes is a degree or two of change, the fish will begin to move and feed in the shallows. On the sunny mornings, it is not uncommon to find redfish and trout holding in the sand pockets or potholes within the shallow flats where water temperatures raise faster. Additionally, warming water temperatures combined with sunny spring days and crystal clear water make February one of the best months to site fish for redfish, large sea trout, and black drum on the lagoon flats.

Eric's No-Motor Zone Black Drum

Eric's No-Motor Zone Black Drum

February is also the time to target tailing black drum and redfish in the Banana River Lagoon "No Motor Zone". The above photo is of Captain Chris Myers with a No-Motor Zone redfish caught back in February 2009 on a DOA Crab. It's a long paddle in, but the sight of large tailing black drum waving in the breeze makes it well worth the effort. Unfortunately, I am limited to one angler on my NMZ charters, as I fish out of a custom designed Indian River canoe.

Offshore, kingfish are still present along the inshore reefs and wrecks, and they will remain there as long as the water temperature stays above 68 degrees. When targeting kingfish this month focus your efforts on the areas of 8A Reef, Pelican Flats, and Bethel Shoals to the south for best results. Look for cobia and amberjack to be present on the inshore wrecks like the Carol Lee, Dutch, and Sub Wreck out of Port Canaveral. Additionally, live bait is tough to find this time of year, so always carry a box of frozen Spanish sardines with you as backup.

Rick's Smoker Kingfish

Rick's Smoker Kingfish

Near-shore, look for tripletail concentrations to improve greatly along the Port Canaveral buoy line and under floating weeds and structures, and for cobia to move in shadowing manta rays if the surface water temperatures reach the upper sixties. Now is also the time for shore fisherman to target pompano, bluefish, weakfish, small black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting in the surf and larger redfish and flounder around the inlets and jetties.

Hickory Shad on Fly

Hickory Shad on Fly

Last but not least, on windy days in February is a great time to check out those freshwater fishing holes on the St Johns River. Currently good catches speckled perch are being reported, but the America shad bite is still slow. Water levels are still high, but they're falling slowly, so as the water levels drop below the banks, the bite should improve. Last week I received reports of shad being caught in the old Marina Isle area and south of Lake Harney. Lastly, Seminole County Parks and Greenways has decided to close the CS Lee Park and ramp from February 9th thru the 28th during the peak of shad season, so like me, if you enjoy fishing that region of Shad Ally, you will have to launch elsewhere. I will keep you informed on developments.

Captain Tom Van Horn